Fun with Laundry and Other Help Around the House (Really!)

Parents love CWIST because they know it’s the place to go to make helping around the house fun with challenges that don’t seem like chores. You can search for helpful ideas about how to turn mundane chores into educational opportunities for the family to enjoy. Let’s face it, you’ve got a busy workload and could use the help with chores around the house. Your kids might not take much personal satisfaction in doing dishes or vacuuming the carpet. These fun activities for kids will help you, the parent, by teaching your child how to take over the laundry duties. Make learning fun with chores and introduce your child to laundry duty this summer.

Beautiful Young Girl Doing Spring Cleaning Chores with Mop and B

Your child is going to work up a sweat with the summer activities for kids on CWIST. Sweaty kids will lead to stinky clothes. Don’t worry. The Magical Drawer: Time to Learn Laundry will teach your child how to share some of the laundry duties. He won’t have to worry about whether his baseball pants or favorite shirt will be available when he needs them. This fun chores activity will help your child become more independent and take some of the load off your shoulders.

  • Laundry Awareness and Education is another fun chores activity for your child to learn about laundry. The difference between this activity and the previous CWIST is that this activity is intended for a child who is already curious about how to help more around the house. This CWIST takes your child’s laundry involvement to the next level. Assign this CWIST to your older child who is naturally inclined to be your little helper. Consider taking advantage of WISHES to reward your child for her hard work.
  • Change the way your child looks at laundry with the Science Fair: Homemade vs. Brand Name Laundry Detergent. Cool science experiments can make your child experience everyday life in a fresh new way. This CWIST challenges your child to evaluate how much your family spends each year on laundry detergent. Homemade detergent is less expensive than store brand detergent. This CWIST helps your child prove scientifically which type of detergent works better. Your child will have hours of fun with this science experiment. In the end, you’ll benefit with some cost-effective, homemade laundry detergent. Make sure to supervise your child during the process.

These CWISTs blend the best of both worlds: hours of fun for your child and some much needed help for you around the house. Visit www.cwist.com for more ideas on how to make learning fun with chores this summer. Help is just a click away!

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Fun Activities to Teach Children about Manners

Summertime means more family time together while kids are out of school. The extra time together can easily turn into educational opportunities to enjoy with everyone. Good manners isn’t a school subject and can often be neglected. Make the most of your time together this summer with fun activities to teach children about manners on CWIST.

boy with bad manners

  • At some point, kids will have to learn that there is a certain pattern to setting the table. Knowing How to Set the Table Can Go a LONG WAY! is a fun activity for kids at the table. This CWIST will help teach your child the basics of how to set the table. You could just tell your child how to do this important life skill, or you can utilize one of the fun behavior activities for kids on CWIST! Your child will love watching the kid’s videos for the best way to teach how to set the table too. Practice makes perfect.
  • The cornerstone of polite manners is learning how to keep your mouth closed while chewing. Luckily, CWIST has a couple of fun behavior activities for kids who need to learn this valuable lesson. Close Your Mouth, Please! and Eat with Your Mouth Closed are both great learning tools to help you out. The former activity uses a long-term approach to slowly train your child using various shorter goals and activities. The latter includes kid’s videos for teaching your child to keep his mouth closed while chewing. Both videos are equally effective and provide great educational activities with the family at the table.
  • There are also some fun activities to teach children basic manners through acts of kindness. Kindness through Magic! is one of these activities. Your child will enjoy starting this CWIST with a fun craft activity for kids. She will build a magic wand to help her as she spreads kindness throughout the neighborhood. By the end of this CWIST, she will learn about the importance of random acts of kindness and enjoy watching kindness spread across the community.

Of course, CWIST is no replacement for valuable life lessons in manners from parents. However, you can certainly use these fun behavior activities for kids to strengthen and practice good manners this summer. Make the most of your extra time together as you teach your child lessons that will last a lifetime! Search for all of the great CWISTs about manners today!

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Pass the Time with Free Games for Kids this Summer

Summer is in full force. Vacations have come and gone and your budget for fun may have already been spent. What do you do with energetic kids for the rest of the summer? Don’t worry. CWIST can help pass the time with free games for kids this summer. CWIST has tons of cool games for kids of all ages to enjoy on slow summer days. Try the following CWISTs when your kids are looking for free games to play this summer:

math games and baseball summer fun

  • Check out some of the free math games for boys and girls on CWIST. Summer is the perfect time for laidback card games. Grab some cards and deal out a game of Math War!. All you’ll need is a deck of cards. Your child will even get some fun lessons on how to shuffle. This CWIST is so fun that your children won’t even realize they’re practicing math!
  • Summertime means baseball season is in full swing. Make learning fun with sports games like Monday Morning Math: Batting Averages and Decimal Place Values CWIST. This activity will reinforce what your child has already learned about decimal places, while teaching her a little history lesson about her favorite sport. Use statistics from the greatest hitters of all time to practice decimal places. This is just one of the many free games for kids to enjoy with their baseball-loving parents, too.

 

  • Do you have a younger child who gets bored sometimes and needs something to do? Well we’ve got you covered. CWIST has the best arts and crafts for kids who love to keep busy while using their hands. Create Your Own Insulated Bottle Cover will give your child the satisfaction of creating something for herself. Also, this CWIST will remind your child of the importance of staying hydrated in the summer sun. Why buy an expensive thermal water bottle when your child can make her own out of common household items?
  • Okay, this CWIST isn’t technically free, but it won’t cost much more than the price of postage. Literally. Package That Pringle! challenges your child to create a package that will protect a single Pringles potato chip. Once a package is built, it’s time to put it in the mail and see if it survives a trip with your postal worker. Your child will get to challenge a friend to do the same and see who wins. This CWIST sets rules for what kind of materials can be used in the competition. CWIST Twist: If you don’t want to send the chip through the mail, then a simple twist of the rules can still deliver a fun and challenging result. Let your child drop the chip package from a tall height like the top of the stairs. Your child will have just as much fun seeing if the chip can survive such great heights! Make sure to supervise your child for safety depending on the location of the chip package launch.

Your child can pass the time by practicing math or safeguarding a potato chip. Either way, CWIST has cool games for kids to enjoy this summer. The best part is that they’re free for you! Find more free activities on www.cwist.com.

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Summer Educational Opportunities for Your Travels

Summertime is reminiscent of road trips and plane rides around the country. Time with family is great, but even the shortest trip can have children squirming and looking for something fun to do. Have no fear. CWIST is here with some great summer educational opportunities for your travels. These summertime CWISTs are a blast! They also provide great educational games for kids to learn in the car rather than zone out with a DVD. You don’t have to scramble to find good games for kids to play in the car anymore. Before you hit the road, enjoy or print out these great CWIST activities.happy asian family sitting in the car

 

  • Travel Bug will truly help your child get the most out of a trip overseas this summer. If you’re planning a trip to another country, then get started today with this CWIST. Pick out a novel, poetry, songs or folk tales about the country you’ll be visiting this summer beforehand. During the trip, your child will get to report to you about what she learned from what she listened to or read. In addition to sparking great family discussions about the trip, this CWIST encourages your child to keep a journal while traveling. Your child will remember her trip for a long time when she travels with a CWIST activity.
  • Who Wants to Travel Across the Country? is the perfect CWIST for children who love to plan ahead. This CWIST takes mundane travel plans and turns them into educational games for kids. Your child will get to practice his organizational skills, planning skills, and even learn about gas prices. You pick the destination and then let your child do the research to coordinate everything from where you’ll eat along the way, to where you’ll sleep on your road trip this summer.
  • Take advantage of free games for kids on CWIST for those long hours in the car without much to do. Are We There Yet? will teach your child that there was life before DVD players on road trips. He’ll get to spend time picking your brain and even making up his own games to play on the road. The possibilities are endless! This CWIST will get your child’s creative juices flowing.
  • Make Your Own Eye Spy Game is a great way to keep things civil in the backseat of the car. Who knew it could be so easy to keep everybody happy on a road trip with simple and fun crafts for kids? Have your crafty child do this CWIST before you hit the road. This activity is also great for your child while you’re shopping or if you just need a break.

Your road trips will never look the same again when you travel with CWIST. Search for more great summertime activities on www.cwist.com.

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Read Your Way Through Summer!

Some of our children can easily get lost in a book, even on a sunny summer day. But for others, we must wait for a rainstorm to get them inside. We can all agree that summer reading is one of the best ways to keep our children learning and even working on study skills during the summer. It can be difficult to keep them motivated to read, so here is a CWIST that just may do the trick!

Fizz, Boom, Read is a program that many libraries across the country are promoting during the summer to get children reading. Even if your local branch is not involved, you can get your household on board.

girl reading book

  • First, your child can choose some books to read this summer. You can start with just one, or have him set a goal for how many books he can read before school starts back.
  • Take a trip to the library where your child can ask the librarian for some suggestions. Before going to the library, talk about the types of books he would like to read based on his current interests and reading level. To kickstart the search, check out this great list of books for children.
  • Next step: Read, read, read!  Either take those rainy days and make them reading days, or set aside a certain amount of time each day for your child to come inside and read. Finding the right books can be all the motivation they need.
  • Once the first book is completed, the fun begins. Here are five things that your child can do to share what they read.

Make a meal that was in the story

  1. Go for a walk with a parent or friend and discuss the book
  2. Compare the story’s hero to a friend or relative
  3. Draw a new cover for the book
  4. Find five things in your house that are in the story
  • With each book your child reads, there are new activities from this CWIST.

Whether your children love arts and crafts, cooking, or writing, they can find the perfect book and the motivating activity to read all summer long!

 

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Using Magic for Fun Math and Science Projects this Summer

Summertime is here and there’s something magical in the air. Maybe it’s the energy from all of the kids being out of school. Maybe it’s excitement about fun summer vacations. Whatever it is, CWIST has funneled the magic into fun math and science projects for the summer. These fun math and science projects for summer are filled with magic to keep your child’s skills sharp!

  • Magic Triangles  is one of the many fun math activities for kids on CWIST. This activity challenges your CWISTER to find as many solutions as possible while learning about equilateral triangles. You child will have a blast improving his math skills and then challenging a friend to beat the math puzzle too. The child who can find the most solutions to the magical puzzle is the winner!

-Young-Math-Science-Games

 

  • Did you know that magic and science have a lot in common? Secret Messages: Magic or Science? is a way to make learning fun for kids who are equally amazed by magic and science. Your little magician will have the opportunity to amaze her friends with some magic inspired by chemistry. All it takes is some grape juice, paper, a paintbrush, water, vinegar and baking soda. These common household ingredients will result in an exciting secret message reveal.
  • Do you know what a Mobius Strip is? It is a magical math enigma with only one side and one boundary. This is one of those fun activities for kids that you’ll be learning from as well. Watch your child perform mathematical magic with this amazing CWIST. This fun summer activity only requires paper, tape, a ruler, a pencil and scissors to get the magic show started. You won’t believe your eyes!
  • Do you have a child with a whimsical spirit? If so, encourage her to keep her science skills sharp as she dives into The Secret World of Fairies. Rarely can you find fun activities for kids that combines magic and science. Your child will learn all about fairies and then build her own fairy world in the backyard. She’ll get to step into the magical world of fairies while learning about animals and nature. This activity will let your your child’s imagination run wild and keep her busy for hours in a world of magic, science, and fairies.

Your child will have a great time with these fun math and science projects and summer activities for kids on CWIST. Visit www.cwist.com to search for all kinds of other fun summer activities for kids too. The fun and learning never stops with CWIST.

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Make Chores Fun!

Summer can be a great time to accomplish lots of extra housekeeping chores. Yardwork, cleaning out closets, and redecorating are just a few of larger household chores your family may have this summer.  Hopefully, your children already have some age appropriate chores that they are expected to do around the house. Summertime is great time for them to learn even more about the things parents do to keep a household up and running!

picmonkey

In addition to their regular chores, help them come up with some activities they can help with, or even do independently, to help out around the house this summer. For even more incentive, come up with some family friendly rewards when it’s all over.

Chore Jar:

  • Sit down as a family and come up with some creative chores. Your children may even find some fun things to do around the house like helping cook meals or planting new flowers in the yard.
  • Next, find one large empty jar. Let your children get going with some arts and crafts and decorate the jar. Find stickers, markers, or ribbon and let them make it their own!
  • Last, use some colorful scraps of paper to write down each new chore. Fold them up neatly and put them in the jar.
  • Choose one day a week that they take out a scrap of paper. That day will be their new creative chore day!
  • Once the jar is empty, reward your whole family for a job well done!

Chores can be opportunities to combine learning and fun. Find more creative ways to get your children motivated to do their chores around the house at CWIST.

 

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Have Fun Learning While Riding Your Bike!

Like any great childhood, some of my most vivid summer memories involve riding my bike. The neighborhood kids loved getting together to go for fun rides through the neighborhood and we never even thought about how much great exercise we were getting!

Taking family bike rides can be one of the most fun summer activities for kids. Not only will it get your family physically active, you can also incorporate lessons about safety and even teach your children how to read maps.

A little boy riding a bike with his shadow on a gray background

Here are two CWISTs to help you get started:

Helmet Safety:

  • First, children and parents involved will take a pledge to wear their helmets every time they’re on their bikes, even for short distances. As parents, it’s great to take any opportunity to be role models for your children.
  • Watch this video on proper helmet fit.
  • Next, just follow the steps on the Helmet Safety CWIST to make sure each family member’s helmet fits properly.

Now that you know you and your family will be safe on your bike ride, it’s time to have some fun, and sneak in some learning, too!

Bike Ride for the Body and the Brain

  • First, have your child find a map of a local area that you would like to explore on your bikes. This is a great opportunity to help him understand distance and safe routes for biking.
  • Next, do a quick safety check of your bike.
  • Have your child read the map and use the legend to determine distances.
  • Next, have him estimate the amount of time he thinks it will take to bike the route. Estimation is a great math tool that is useful beyond the classroom. Your child will be having fun learning math, and not even realize it!
  • Be sure that you or your child time your ride together. You can even use Map My Ride to log your route.
  • Now, have your child compare his estimate with the actual amount of time it took to bike the route he planned.

Use this activity all summer long. Ride different routes each time.  Your child’s estimation skills will improve with each ride.

 

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Top Active Toys for Kids to Earn this Summer

Ogo Disk Mezo *

The summer months are a great time to get the kids active and enjoy the beautiful weather! Maybe you have a child who is naturally motivated to be active, explore and play outdoors, while other children require a little more inspiration. Either way, active play is tremendously important for a child’s emotional and physical well-being. Here are 10 fun outdoor toys that are great incentives to consider for your child to earn this summer by completing assigned learning challenges on cwist.com.

Not only does active play encourage the ability to solve problems while building muscle strength and coordination, but from a sensory motor perspective, 20 minutes of  physical activity can also have a positive impact on the length of time a child is able to pay attention to an activity that directly follows. Hoping your child has more energy to work their CWIST project or their reading log? 20 minutes of active play prior may make all the difference.

*OgoDisk Mezo - These discs are like little mini-trampolines for balls and water balloons. Using the included OgoSoft looped ball, which is similar to a Koosh ball, solo players can use the disk to see how many times they can bounce it up and down repeatedly, inventing all sorts of new tricks while working on their eye-hand coordination. By involving a friend or a sibling, the discs work just like a frisbee, or a nice safe alternative to a baseball bat or tennis racket. OgoDisks are portable and easy to travel with, making them great outdoor play options in the yard, beach, playground or park.

Eagle Series Zip Line with Seat - Do your kids love the zip line at the playground? Did you know you could have a 90 foot zip line for your yard?  Recommended for kids ages 7 and up, this particular zip line includes a comfort grip and an attached seat.  Kids will have a blast zooming from one location to the next in the yard, just make sure to provide a helmet and supervision for safety. 

Eagle Series Zip Line

Light Up Big Bang Rocket - Using small, square shaped pieces of recycled newspaper secured in the top of the rocket, kids then swing their arms in a circular motion, release the rocket and when the nose hits the ground, “Bang!” There is also a built-in light to find the rocket for kids who enjoy playing at night in the yard, at the beach or on a camping trip. 

X-zylo Air Rider - Do your kids like to play catch? The Air Rider can be thrown underhand, over hand, or even by it’s tail. Make sure you have space and room to run, this toy can fly up to 150 feet! 

*Spooner Board - Missing the snow in summer, or ever wondered what it felt like to go sledding, surfboarding or skateboarding? Spooner boards, which function similar to a snowboard or skateboard, can be used anywhere, even on grass and dirt. Children may love the thrill of the ride or enjoy using their creativity to learn and perform various tricks. Depending upon a child’s height, there are different sized boards available. A helmet is suggested for safety.

Swing Ball - Did you ever play tether ball? With Swing Ball, using 2 innovative paddles, players can bat the attached tennis ball to another player, or practice their own moves by playing against themselves in this fast-action hand-eye coordination game. 

*Magic Moves Jammin Gym - Many children have selective hearing when their parents send them outside to play or exercise, which can result in a series, of lots of whining and “I don’t want to.”  Don’t worry, the Jammin Gym toy, could take that stress away. This dumbbell shaped toy encourages kids to follow directions, then partake in all sorts of fun movement exercises and opportunities. Children can play by themselves or complete the moves in a dance party format with their friends. 

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Jammin’ Gym *

*Flight PogoStick  - People have been playing and exercising outside with pogo sticks since the early 1900’s! Newly designed pogosticks, such as this one appeal to both amateurs and professionals, given that they provide a lot more air with smoother bouncing. The Flight pogo stick is recommended for ages 9 and up, between 80-180 pounds. Supervision and a helmet is required for safety.  

Lil Rollerblades - Heading to a bike trail or beach boardwalk? Kids ages 2-5 can cruise the path safely, with speed. This in-line self-adjusting skate set arrives with a helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards and a backpack to store them in. (I picked the medium pink one) 

Quad Rider - Beep, beep! It’s hard to find a child who isn’t enthralled by a battery operated ride-on toy that they can maneuver and control by themselves through the yard and on the driveway. This particular power toy with a working horn and lights, moves forward and backward at speeds up to 2 miles per hour. It’s recommended for kids ages 3-6 who are under 66 lbs. 

Toys referenced with an * support  the nonprofit KaBOOM!, the national nonprofit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play and playgrounds to those who need it most.  With every purchase of an item in the KaBOOM! Go Out and Play Collection by cwist toy partner, imaginetoys.com, you are helping support KaBOOM! to achieve its goal of ALL children getting the play they need.

About the Author

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Keriann Wilmot, a passionate toy enthusiast, began her career as a pediatric occupational therapist 15 years ago. She could have never predicted the profound impact that toys and the role of play would have in helping children achieve developmental milestones in such fun, natural ways. Several years ago, in an effort to help all parents find toys that their children would enjoy playing with, Keri began incorporating toy recommendations and other helpful play hints into her personal website. Many people know her as the “ToyQueen!” Keri has also been providing toy related to content as the Toys Expert at About.com   since July 2011.

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Make a Fish Bowl with Dr. Suess

Dr. Seuss books are classics that are fun to read for all ages. Babies and preschoolers love them! But older kids can get in on the fun, too. One of the best activities is seeing who can read Dr. Seuss books the fastest. Many are tongue twisters and it’s fun to make racing games out of the silly words!

Another fun way to get your children more involved in reading is to make books into arts and crafts activities. Dr. Seuss’ One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish is the perfect inspiration for making your very own fish bowl art.

Make a Fish Bowl!

Make a Fish Bowl!

Here’s what you’ll need to get your children started: white paper, colored construction paper, scissors, blue food coloring, bowl, spoon, paint brush, and corn syrup.

  • First, read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, or watch this fun video of authors reading the book.
  • Next, have your child use the white paper and draw out a big fish bowl. Help them cut it out.
  • Using the colored paper, your child can draw out and cut as many fish as he can. Try to make enough fish to fill up the whole fish bowl. (You can work in a little math here, and have him count his fish and separate them by color or size.)
  • Pour a little corn syrup and a little food coloring into a bowl.  Mix them well, and use the paintbrush to paint the fish bowl.
  • Once the bowl is painted, your child can stick all of the fish into the bowl. The syrup is sticky, so there is no need for glue!

Save activities like the one above for those really hot or really rainy days when your family has to be inside by logging (or signing up — it’s free!) into cwist.com, clicking “cwists” and adding it to “my favorites.” There are always educational opportunities during the summer. Sometimes you just have to make learning fun!

#summerlearningstartshere

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